Recycling court case adjourned

The UK's first case of a local authority taking legal action against a resident who failed to recycle properly has been adjourned for two weeks.

Exeter City Council has taken resident Donna Challice to court, prosecuting her on six charges of contaminating her recycling bin with inappropriate waste.

The council claims the Devonshire woman has been filling her recycling bins with waste not accepted at its sorting station and, although the authority runs a ‘three strikes’ system, she has received as many as ten warnings before it decided to take action.

Other local authorities such as Barnet have previously introduced compulsory recycling schemes and while warning have been issued elsewhere this is the first time in the UK such a case has made it as far as the courts.

The Council claims the incidents occurred in November and December last year and this February.

Ms Challice denies the offences, saying the unacceptable waste was dumped in her bins by unknown parties and that she cannot be held responsible.

The local authority must build a case that proves it was her that placed the waste if it wishes to secure a conviction.

If found guilty Ms Challice could face fines of up to £1,000.

The case was adjourned for two weeks after a first hearing on Tuesday, as is the norm with most cases heard before magistrates where a defendant enters a not guilty plea.

Sam Bond

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